Communications Insight For More Inspiring Leaders A Visit to Ukraine in 2014

A Visit to Ukraine in 2014

 27th Feb 2022
Back in 2013/14, I visited Kyiv several times, running a series of public and in-house sessions for professionals from across Ukraine.

This was in the months before, during and after the events of the Ukrainian 'Maidan Revolution' of February 2014.

My client brief was clear.

As one put it: "Leaders here want change. They're ready to move on from the traditional model. From top-down, more 'Soviet-style' learning. It's too dry, too passive. They want interaction, they want to challenge, they want to engage, to move forward. Simon, you may find them a bit shy at first, but don't be put off. Because as soon as they overcome that shyness..."

Sure enough, I remember the very first session back in July 2013.

Forty or so leaders in the room.

Simultaneous translators at the ready in their booth.

Five minutes into the session, I launched the first plenary activity. A game requiring eight volunteers to come to the front.

To see the faces of those "volunteered"…

At the mere thought of coming to the front of the room - to speak. Haven’t we all had THAT feeling at some point!

But they felt the fear. And did it anyway.

Within an hour, the energy of the room had changed. The buzz of points being made, ideas discussed, feedback given and stories being shared.

The buzz of leaders.

I sense that Ukrainians' resolve to move forward, to progress on their terms, in their own way is even stronger now than it was then.

Nothing the Kremlin does - or can ever do - will prevent that.

#leadership #publicspeaking #inspiration #learning #communication #personaldevelopmen

People in leadership positions have to take this course!


Mahmoud Jamjoum | Joint MD, Jamjoom Pharmaceuticals, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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